Don't Write Click Here for Your Links
If you get nothing more out of this article than this, please remember not to use "click here" for your links. "Click here" says nothing. In fact, most people skimming a Web page don't even see links that read "click here" because they have no semantic attachments. What does that mean? It means that "click here" doesn't reach out and grab your readers and make them want to click on the link. When I see the words "click here" as a link, often my first thought is "who's gonna make me?" and I move on, not clicking on it.
According to the W3C Quality Assurance Team, links should:
- be brief and meaningful
- provide information even when read out of context
- explain what the link offers
- not deal with the mechanics of the site
- not be a verb phrase
Brief and Meaningful Links
One popular way of writing links is to link several sentences or paragraphs as one giant link. But this doesn't really help your readers know what the link is. In fact, sometimes it looks like you forgot to close your link tag. Keep your links 2-5 words at most.
Your links should provide information even if that's all your readers read. Often the links are highlighted in some bright color, with an underline, and they are easily seen in the sea of black text. But if all those links say is "click here" your scanning readers won't click them, they'll just hit the back button.
What Does the Link Offer
Why should they click on the link? Your readers should have a general idea of what they're going to get when they click on a link. Now, you don't have to go into detail, but a link that reads "red potatos" shouldn't take your customers to a peanut butter factory.
Links and Site Mechanics
Your readers don't care about how they need to do things. Most of them will know that a hyperlink will take them to another Web site so saying something like "go to the Red Potato Heaven Web site..." just repeats the obvious.
Verb Phrases in Links
Verb phrases don't explain what the link is linking to. By default, that would be a noun, so including verbs in your link just makes it longer than absolutely necessary.
The exception to this rule would be if you are linking to a title of an article or other item and that title has a verb or verb-form in it. The idea behind avoiding verbs in your links is to avoid giving your readers directions "get more information about creating better links" is a bad link, but "get more information about creating better links" is okay.